- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 15 May 2017
Softwood is a type of wood that is cut from trees belonging to gymnosperms, such as coniferous trees. By contrast, hardwood typically comes from angiosperm, deciduous and broad-leaved trees. Trees that lose their leaves in the autumn, such as oak.
Unlike hardwood, the microstructure of softwood trees does not include vessels, as their cells are open. This allows them to act as conduits, feeding nutrients and water through the tree. These open cells allow them to absorb things such as adhesives and finishes better.
Softwood provides around 80% of all timber, and is usually supplied in long, rectangular forms such as planks, posts and rails. Softwood is commonly used in construction, in the roof and inner walls structures, as well as in other building components such as fixtures and fittings, doors, and so on. It is also the main constituent of some man-made boards, such as medium density fibreboard.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 11 things you didn't know about wood.
- Cross-laminated timber.
- Engineered bamboo.
- Lime wood.
- Laminated veneer lumber LVL.
- Physical Properties of Wood.
- Pine leaves.
- Pine wood.
- Sustainable materials.
- Testing timber.
- The differences between hardwood and softwood.
- Timber preservation.
- Timber vs wood.
- Types of timber.
Featured articles and news
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
BSRIA has collaborated with the Department of Health on research into air permeability in isolation rooms.
New step-by-step route maps for implementing effective surface water management measures are published.
GMP is an agreement with a contractor that the contract sum will not exceed a specified maximum. Read more here.
The BREEAM Sustainability Champion is changing to the Advisory Professional - here's what you need to know.
A fresh round of job-cuts takes the total number of redundancies to over 1,000.